David Lammy slams 'contradiction' of Boris Johnson's promise to EU nationals

PUBLISHED: 13:11 25 July 2019 | UPDATED: 13:57 25 July 2019

MP David Lammy, who supports a People's Vote, has labelled Boris Johnson's promises to EU nationals 'unworkable'. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA.

MP David Lammy, who supports a People's Vote, has labelled Boris Johnson's promises to EU nationals 'unworkable'. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

Boris Johnson is making promises he can't keep to EU nationals in the UK, said David Lammy, after the new prime minister made his "unequivocal" guarantee of their right to stay.

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In his first appearance as PM in the Commons, Johnson said EU citizens looking to stay in the UK "will have the absolute certainty of the right to live and remain".

But the People's Vote campaign, which is supported by David Lammy, has calculated that UK's 77 processing centres would need to process 345 applications a day if Johnson is to make that guarantee. According to a government report, applications have taken anything from three to nine days to be process.

There are still 2.6 million EU nationals who still need to apply for settled status, all of whose applications would have to be processed before October 31 if the UK leaves the UK on that date as Johnson has promised.

Lammy called the task "insurmountable".

"Boris Johnson's commitment to leaving the EU by the end of October and to the protection of EU citizens' rights post-Brexit is a contradiction," he said. "EU citizens in Britain and British citizens in the EU will lose their rights on day one after a no-deal Brexit.

"No-one should have to go through a long process of applying to live in the place they moved to with every right to live, work and settle. The centres tasked with processing these applications are going to be stretched past breaking point. Let's be real: the challenge they face is insurmountable.

"The only way to fulfil Johnson's pledge to EU nationals is to stop Brexit."

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